WhatsApp . Everybody knows what it is. A messenger for some, lifesaver for others. An app which always comes to rescue when you run out the generic balance in your cell phone. But here is what my brother and I found out a few days ago. A flaw in the very ‘lifesaver’. Yes, as the title suggests, WhatsApp is a potential weapon for people who want to stalk you, penetrate your life. But this isn’t because of what WhatsApp does or is made for. It is because of the misunderstanding in people’s mind for WhatsApp being a social network. It isn’t. Its an Instant Messenger (IM).
Misconception 1 : Status.
The ‘status’ on WhatsApp was never meant to be your musings or whats up with you or your life. It was if you were available to chat or not. That is why there were templates (Available, Busy, Can’t talk WhatsApp Only etc.) but people have started to use the ‘Status’ as they would in Facebook but please realize that this is not the case. Your WhatsApp status only suggests people if they can send you a message or not. Nothing more.
Misconception 2 : People You Don’t Know Cannot See You On WhatsApp.
Being an IM, WhatsApp pulls all the people from the contact list and tells you if they are on WhatsApp or not. So, for example. You don’t have my number but I somehow managed to get hold of yours. Then what? I can actually get a hint about your life because of your periodic ‘Status Updates’. Also, weekly I get a photo of you too, without you even knowing it. You can never know that I have you on my WhatsApp list until I send you a message. Then, you can ‘Add’ me or ‘Block’ me but what if I don’t. You have no clue that I have already started to penetrate your life a little.
So, make sure you don’t get stalked unknowingly. WhatsApp carefully. Use features with a little more sense and also, who am I to say all this? Its your smartphone and your life. Do whatever you want. Ciao! 🙂
After version 2.11.169 on Android, Whatsapp has introduced a Privacy menu under Account option in Settings where in you can select the following concerns for privacy,
- Last Seen
- Profile Photo
Each of these have the following options,
- My Contacts
This does not guarantee NO Stalking but it sure gives you more control over your Whatsapp account, so make sure you use these perfectly and keep yourself away from Stalkers.